When inspiration strikes …

I’ve written previously about how my MissElaineous designs grew from my work on Indian River by Air, and this organic crossover is something that I enjoy cultivating in everything I do.  Indeed, it’s the meaning behind the MissElaineous logo, with different parts of my life running into each other to form new and different shades of colour.  And it explains the “little bit of everything” tagline!

This jumped to the forefront recently with my brother-in-law’s birthday gift. Someone was late putting together his birthday list, and I had already gotten him colourful socks last year.  A new project I have been thinking about is making nature-inspired notecards based on the alphabet:

A is for Acer
B is for Bluebells
C is for Celandine
And so on …
(and no, I haven’t thought about Q, X, or Z yet)

Yet the technique used for the silhouettes is the same regardless of photo.  I was at work when inspiration struck: Family photos spelling out the names of each family member.  It looked great in my head.  Absolutely Pinterest-worthy if I do say so myself.

I immediately contacted my incredibly helpful sister-in-law who sent me a number of photos to choose from. I figured it would be a simple matter of assembling a good series of pictures for each person, doing a little bit of PhotoShop magic, adding a frame, and voila, a personalised birthday gift. Yet the best way to learn is by doing, and I soon learned that it was not as easy as I had originally anticipated.

A number of problems soon developed: How to prevent the jagged parts of the letter M or N from coming between a couple or skewering a child?  How to deal with a white background in an image so that it doesn’t change the shape of the letter?  How to keep the letters the same size and in proportion?

For the next week or so, I worked on this in my free time, with equal parts frustration and enjoyment of the challenge of bringing the idea to life.  I got there in the end, and to answer the questions in reverse:

  • I hit upon making digital stencils, which meant I could adjust the image as needed without worrying about changing the letter itself.
  • Unfortunately images where the sky was white were discarded to make sure the letter shape came through; other photos could be enlarged to fit properly.
  • The white spaces of the letter proved to be the trickiest part of all and required a lot of trial and error to get the placement right.  Thankfully I also had a lot of photos to work with!

So what happens next?  Ben and Emma are deciding where in their lovely new house to put the pictures, and I am contemplating whether this will be a viable project to sell. I am slightly afraid of names like Charlotte or Alexander, but do have some thoughts for how that could work (hint: it involves individual frames).  Would you be interested in something like this for your family or as a gift?  Please get in touch!

Off the Beaten Track Wiltshire

Explore the UK from wherever you are! Get notified when each new blog post is published and receive a free eBook as a bonus:


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

MissElaineous Travel Blog: Escape, Explore, Discover, Enjoy